Stephen Bayley

From classical to post-modern: a beginner’s guide

A review of Art in History by Martin Kemp finds this 200-page potted outline absurdly sketchy

My career at school and after was greatly enhanced by a series of books called The Bluffer’s Guide to….These gave mischievous advice, often on the reliable when-in-doubt-confuse-the-issue lines. A favourite of mine, still in use in emergencies, was: ‘I think Jack Kerouac was more a Franciscan Christian than Buddhist, don’t you?’

Martin Kemp’s Art in History is several clicks up the ratchet of sophistication, but, being a beginner’s guide, retains something of the character of a prop for the indolent.

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